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Friday, Jun 13, 2014

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Iggy gets jiggy

The New Paper | Friday, Jun 13, 2014

Working it: Rapper Iggy Azalea perform Fancy at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards in Nevada, US, on May 18.

Iggy Azalea holds the No. 1 and No. 2 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with Fancy and Problem respectively.

An amazing accomplishment, especially considering that these are her first two charting songs.

The last time an act broke out of the gates in such a spectacular fashion in the US was way back in 1964 when The Beatles knocked the competition flat with the one-two punch of I Want To Hold Your Hand and She Loves You.

So basically Azalea is The Beatles of 2014.

Or probably not, more likely.

She's pretty good, but I don't really see Azalea-mania on the horizon.

Girlfriend is a one-trick pony, a kind of novelty act.

Unlike most rap artists - black, male, American and a bit terrifying - Azalea is white, female and Australian.

She actually kind of reminds me of Olivia Newton-John as Sandy in the movie musical Grease.

You know how Sandy started off as this innocent girl, and by the end she was transformed by rowdy US high school students into a sex bomb in super-tight satin pants?

That's kind of how I imagine Azalea's life, except with her rap mentor T.I. in John Travolta's role.

Actually, T.I. would make a great Danny Zuko if they ever make a black Grease.

Back in 2011, Azalea released a song and music video called Pu$$y that went viral. Sadly, it's not a song about wealthy cats. It's about... other stuff.

On the strength of that tune, she got interest from major labels, and now she has hit the mainstream.

ON TOP

Azalea also sits at No. 1 on Billboard's rap album chart with The New Classics.

While some may bemoan the fact that a blonde chick is dominating the genre, I'd like to point out that the first rap single to reach No. 1 was actually Blondie's Rapture, back in 1981.

The nice thing about Rapture was that frontwoman Debbie Harry didn't have to completely transform herself to perform the song. Rap was still fresh and had yet to ossify into its current brutal form.

Harry didn't have to go all "hood".

Azalea, of course, is all kinds of hood - in fact, she's doing a sort of gangsta pantomime.

Unlike Harry, her lyrics aren't about men from Mars eating cars; she adheres to the usual rap checklist of sex, drugs and bling. That's fine, but I just wish she had some progressive ideas to go along with her powerful image.


This article was first published on June 11, 2014.
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